Emergency plans that schools are required to submit to the state should include responses to flu and other disease outbreaks as a best practice, and the Ohio Department of Education is encouraging schools to review their plans in light of the spread of coronavirus.
The FAQ on coronavirus can be found by clicking on the following link: http://education.ohio.gov/coronavirus
ODE specifically urged schools to review the "medical: pandemic" component of each building plan, as well as the "recovery" and "continuity of operations" portions of the plan.
"As part of the emergency management plan, schools should have established procedures for determining when to close a school; how to communicate information to parents, students, staff and the community about the closing; and procedures for decontaminating facilities if necessary," ODE said.
The department also encouraged school officials to consider doing the following:
- Refresh their relationship with their local health department and county emergency management agency and ensure their awareness of local health emergency procedures in their communities.
- Convene Planning Team/Safety Committees to ensure awareness of emergency procedures.
- Modify emergency management plans as may be necessary in light of a review.
- Ensure contact information for staff and student families is up to date.
- Ensure that administrator contact information is current in OH/ID at the Ohio Department of Education.
More information on school safety plans is at https://saferschools.ohio.gov/content/school_safety_plans.